Advanced search

MNHQ here: can you tell us what policies your employer has for maternity, paternity and parental leave?

(59 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 04-Feb-19 10:56:15


As lots of you will know, eligible employees in the UK are entitled to statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and/or parental benefits - the minimums set by the government, which all employers have to facilitate. Beyond those minimums, some employers offer more: ‘enhanced’ maternity, paternity, adoption and/or parental leave and/or pay.

Over the years we’ve seen lots of conversations in which MNers try to find out what policies prospective employers have, or ask fellow MNers what it’s reasonable to expect in terms of enhanced terms. Many are worried that if they ask directly in an interview, they’ll risk being ruled out of the running - or that if they ask after a job offer, the offer could be withdrawn.

Information about parental leave policies can be crucial, and finding a way to put the information in the public domain could help lots of parents and prospective parents uncover the employers who are truly family-friendly (as well as those who really aren’t).

The government is currently consulting on a proposal to make it a legal requirement that companies employing 250 or more people should publicly publish their parental leave policies and benefits. The idea is that this sort of measure - as with gender pay gap reporting - can put more power into the hands of job-seekers, and incentivise employers to develop policies they’re proud to shout about.

We think this is a really important idea and we wanted to know what MNers thought about MNHQ swinging behind it as a campaign.

It also occurred to us that crowdsourcing this information could be one way forwards for now. We’d love to build a comprehensive online resource of UK employers’ parental policies to help people negotiate what can be a tricky area. Would that be something you think could work? Eg simply posting here (anonymously if you wish obviously)

where you work;
what your employers offers for maternity leave (xx% of salary for xx weeks followed by xx% for xx weeks followed by…); and
what your employer offers for paternity leave (xx% of salary for xx weeks followed by xx% for xx weeks followed by…)

If your employer offers only statutory leave and pay, please just tell us where you work and that they offer statutory benefits.

Obviously folks could name change before doing this but maybe you’d rather do it off-site, let us know. It would be great if we could build up a bank of information for fellow MNers who might be looking for jobs. Knowledge is power and all that.

What are MNHQ’s policies, we hear you cry? You can read about them here.

Gametedescrition Mon 04-Feb-19 12:58:18

At my company, parental leave is paid for five days per year, any more is unpaid. I think this is after one year at the company.

M3lon Mon 04-Feb-19 13:04:15

I work for a Russel Group Uni.

1) Maternity Leave is either:

8 weeks leave on full pay (inclusive of SMP);
followed by 16 weeks leave on half pay (plus, in addition to this, the lower rate of SMP);
followed by 15 weeks leave at the lower rate of SMP;
Plus up to 13 further weeks of unpaid leave.

16 weeks on full pay (inclusive of SMP);
followed by the lower rate of SMP for 23 weeks;
Plus up to 13 weeks unpaid leave.

2) Paternity leave

1 week leave on full pay

3) Shared parental leave

This is possible for partners where the mother is entitled to statutory maternity leave at their place of employment, which may or may not be the university, but is not using that entitlement. Either:

6 weeks leave on full pay (inclusive of statutory Shared Parental Pay);
Followed by 16 weeks leave on half pay (plus in addition to this, the lower rate of ShPP);
Followed by 15 weeks at the lower rate of ShPP;
Plus up to 13 further weeks of unpaid leave

(b) 14 weeks on full pay (inclusive of ShPP)
Followed by the lower rate of ShPP for 23 weeks
Plus up to 13 weeks unpaid leave

M3lon Mon 04-Feb-19 13:04:56

oops should say the adoption leave is equivalent in all ways.

MrsD28 Mon 04-Feb-19 13:11:48

Maternity policy is:

17 weeks of full pay then SMP for the remaining 22 weeks.

Only eligible once you have completed two years of service before the due date.

Cliffdonville Mon 04-Feb-19 13:22:43

where you work; National Charity

what your employers offers for maternity leave 100% of salary for 6 weeks followed by 50% for 12 weeks followed by SMP for rest of the year.

what your employer offers for paternity leave
100% of salary for 2 weeks

5 paid parental days

Hugely flexible and allow all sorts of working patterns.

Merryoldgoat Mon 04-Feb-19 13:31:38

Statutory only.

They are flexible though and we’re allowed 2 paid days a year for childcare emergencies plus more at their discretion.

Home working by arrangement is possible, easy to get time off for school plays/assemblies etc.

I had to take a day off for my sick baby less than two weeks after returning and it was a complete non-issue.

Enhanced benefits would be nice but the general attitude is genuinely family friendly which goes mile.

Merryoldgoat Mon 04-Feb-19 13:32:19

Sorry - work for independent prep school in SW London.

NameyMcChangington Mon 04-Feb-19 13:40:18

I work for The Open University. The HR documents which lay out the rules for leave are publicly available online.

All of the mother's medical appointments are paid.
26 weeks ordinary maternity leave, then 26 weeks additional maternity leave.
Employees who have 12 months continuous service before the due date receive full pay (OMP) for 18 weeks - less than 12 months service is pro-rata full pay. SMP to 39 weeks. You have to return to work for 3 months after birth or pay back the OMP. You continue to accrue annual leave when on maternity leave. Pension contributions are taken as the same percentage of your maternity pay and the University makes up the shortfall in your contribution.

Paternity leave has been replaced by shared parental leave, but the secondary carer is entitled to accompany the mother to 2 antenatal appointments at full pay and has 2 weeks fully paid leave after the birth.

Adoption has the same benefits.

The organisation offers contingency leave for emergencies and has a strong focus on agile working when possible, so condensing hours/working from home etc rarely a problem in many areas of the business.

marymarkle Mon 04-Feb-19 13:46:59

Statutory only, small company with less than 250 employees is this would be of no benefit to me. I don't actually agree with not making it a requirement for smaller companies. Smaller companies already have to follow a lot of legislation that is far more onerous than this proposed requirement.

NoWayNoHow Mon 04-Feb-19 14:14:22


- 6 months full pay
- 3 months statutory after that
- 3 month unpaid to make up wks 39- 52
- paternity pay is 1 week full pay and 1 week statutory pay

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 04-Feb-19 14:23:54

Hello - if at all possible could you specify the name of the organisation whose policies you're citing please (as opposed to just sector). Will just help others who are applying (though we understand it may not always be possible)

marymarkle Mon 04-Feb-19 14:29:44

No sorry, your data protection procedures are not robust enough for me to want to share information like that i.e. information about email addresses that could easily be linked to info shared on the site.

JagerPlease Mon 04-Feb-19 15:07:54

Civil service. Maternity is 6 months full pay, 3 months statutory, 3 months unpaid. Paternity is 2weeks full pay. Shared parental and adoption are the same as maternity

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 04-Feb-19 15:25:21


No sorry, your data protection procedures are not robust enough for me to want to share information like that i.e. information about email addresses that could easily be linked to info shared on the site.

Sorry not quite sure what you mean Mary?

LizzieBananas Mon 04-Feb-19 18:40:39

I think Mary is concerned about connecting her account (regardless of name changes) to a post about her specific workplace.

I would have the same concerns.

ItsLikeRainOnYourWeddingDay Mon 04-Feb-19 18:53:49

Financial services.

6 months full salary
3 months stat
3 months zero.

marymarkle Mon 04-Feb-19 19:45:15

Yes thanks Lizzie. But not about connecting it because of only what I post. I think it is twice now email addresses have been accessed and taken by others - although was an employee who left. My email address and workplace would totally identify who I was.

CCS83 Mon 04-Feb-19 20:36:55

Large Construction consultancy
6 weeks 90% salary
12 weeks 50%
Remainder at Stat
Frustrating as it’s an industry which wants to attract more women however as main earner I had to return after 12 weeks as financially couldn’t sustain longer

MrsElf Mon 04-Feb-19 20:40:09

Without posting my employer(?) out of the 16 people in my workplace, the 2 women are ‘self-employed’. The men are all employees. I’m fairly sure that the woman I replaced was also self-employed. Maternity pay? Not happening here!

LondonHuffyPuffy Mon 04-Feb-19 20:46:01

Justine you could use a Freedom of Information Act request to get that info from a huge range of public bodies, including museums, galleries, universities etc. Word it politely and carefully and I don’t think there would be any reason to withhold the information (I am a former public sector lawyer who dealt With FOI daily).

Unfortunately the FOI Act doesn’t apply to private companies but many of the bigger companies might be happy to give that info if you explain what it’s for? Big law firms tend to be very generous with mat leave and probably won’t mind that being known publically.

AnnaBegins Mon 04-Feb-19 21:18:19

Agree with Mary that given your data protection issues in the past this is a difficult ask! However here are the policies of a few companies that I know of but do not work for:
Unilever: 52 weeks full pay maternity
Aldi UK: 12 weeks full pay, 6 weeks half pay, then statutory, for maternity or adoption, after 2 year's service
Jaguar Land Rover: 52 weeks full pay maternity/adoption
Uni of Oxford: 6 months full pay then statutory, for maternity or adoption

Worriedmummybekind Tue 05-Feb-19 01:07:59

I think this would be a game changer. I fully agree with the previous poster that SMB shouldn’t be exempted. It’s not like gender pay where one person being MD could distort all the figures. This is a simple publishing of their policies. I have run a small business.

Secondly, also agree with that no one is going to post their actual employer on their mumsnet account. It needs to be accessed totally separately and not linked to emails etc.

BertieBotts Tue 05-Feb-19 08:38:40

I think this is a great idea (perhaps not the crowdsourcing, plus how would you verify the info?). I don't have any thing to share anyway.

Matresearch Tue 05-Feb-19 09:16:05

This would be a wonderful resource but having done this sort of research from the other side (through employers) I can tell you it’s very labour (pun unintended)- intensive. Even getting this info from cooperative, helpful HR departments can involve quite a bit of to-ing and fro-ing to get the facts straight; relying on employees to post correct, up-to-date info might not give you the clearest picture. There are all sorts of things to bear in mind such as length of service and seniority/staff group (occasionally a factor).

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »